Category Archives: Building/LEGO

My Little Pony Explore Equestria Crystal Empire Castle

mlpequestriacastleMy Little Pony toys have always thrilled children of various ages with all their adorable figurines. Now, with the introduction of My Little Pony Explore Equestria Crystal Empire Castle, the fun continues on.

This toy earned a spot on Walmart’s Hottest 25 Toys of 2016 list. Kids will delight in creating imaginative scenes that feature Baby Flurry Heart along with Princess Cadance.

The castle is full of exciting things to do and the playset itself is beautiful. It’s made of clear, light blue plastic so it looks like a shining ice jewel fit for royalty. The castle is open, so your child can access it from any angle and it’s large enough so that two children can play with it at the same time.

It does light up with a soft glow and when it’s lit, it shows cutie marks once the heart button is pushed down. The castle is big and roomy enough to include two staircases for Baby Flurry Heart or Princess Cadance to use.

The steps on the stairs are also clear plastic. The castle boasts two closets that are able to spin. Each of the closets features two round shelves that a child can put some of the accessories on if they want to.

There is a balcony at the top of the castle in the center, which is extended out from the floor. When little Baby Flurry Heart is tired or just wants to relax, there’s even a swing to entertain her.

While Baby Flurry Heart is in her swing, Princess Cadance can attend to royal duties. This toy comes with plenty of accessories for kids to use in play that will delight them. Among these accessories, there is the royal throne, the beautiful crystal vanity, mirror, a dress along with jewels and a cradle.

There are also tiaras, a picture frame, teapot and cups. Whether the Little Pony figurines are preparing for a royal party or planning to stay home in the castle, you’ll find plenty of accessories to play with.

The set does take some assembly but it’s minimal. Instructions are included with the set, but the batteries needed to create the light up effect are not included. You’ll need to make sure that you have three 1.5 volt AAA batteries on hand. The castle is suitable for children who are three years old and older, because the toy accessories are choking hazards.

There is an app that kids can access using the code included. This My Little Pony Friendship Celebration app will allow your child to have access to interactive parties and games. You will need a compatible device to access this feature.

Barbie Rainbow Cove Princess Castle Playset

One of the hottest new toys for kids, according to Walmart’s 25 Hottest Toys for 2016 list, is the Barbie Rainbow Cove Princess Castle Playset. This castle offers hours of fun with fashion dolls in their very own castle.

This castle is expansive and boasts a full three floors to create whatever scenes your child’s imagination desires. The backdrop for the castle floors pop with all the bright, beautiful colors of the rainbow.

From the turrets to the bottom floor of the castle, it’s no wonder it’s in such high demand. Plenty of attention to detail is found in this castle and with the multitude of accessories, your child can create an atmosphere that’s fit for a princess for her dolls.

Some of the lovely features of the castle are found in the butterfly cutouts that you’ll see on the bright yellow doors of the castle. The turret at the top of the castle has a rainbow with clouds.

barbierainbowcovecastle

A lovely fairy doll can be affixed to the rainbow for more magical beauty. The holder will allow the doll to spin. There’s another rainbow between the turret and the end column of the castle.

The dolls can walk into the castle using the butterfly door or through the open access on the bottom floor which leads directly into the dining room. There are accessories for the dining room.

You’ll find a table and two chairs in bright colors. These cute chairs both have backs that are made in the shape of butterflies. There is a chandelier that hangs above the table, which adds to the glamour of the castle.

The accessories for the table include cupcakes for two fashion dolls along with teacups and miniature saucers. Fashion dolls can access the second floor of the castle using the stairs.

These stairs are brightly colored in keeping with the rainbow theme. On the second floor, you’ll find there’s a bedroom along with a closet and a vanity for the dolls to use. The accessories for the vanity include a bottle of perfume and a hairbrush.

For catching some sleep, the bedroom features a lovely canopy bed with a fluffy pillow. At the very top of the castle, there is a pool that’s shaped just like a seashell and the fashion dolls can relax and have fun splashing around.

The deck on the roof offers the opportunity to survey the kingdom. All three of these floors are packed with details to make the castle come to life and add to your child’s enjoyment. None of the dolls are included with the purchase of the castle – so you’ll need to buy those separately.

Save

LEGO Ghostbusters Ecto-1 and 2 75828 Building Kit

This 556 Lego set ties in with the Ghostbusters 2016 movie. It includes the Ecto-1 Cadillac style vehicle, Ecto-2 Motorcycle, 5 Ghostbuster mini-figures and a scary demon.
It also comes with plenty of other ghostbusting accessories to make this a must buy for Lego and Ghostbusters fans alike.

How Much?
Currently we are seeing it priced at around $60 but it’s always best to do your homework and check prices online.

lego-ghostbusters

Who Would Buy It?
This Ghostbusters set is recommended by Lego for 8 to 14 year olds but we think Lego fans of all ages will like this set.

Things We Like About It
Lego really got it right with the movie character representation of the mini-figures as they do very much resemble the 3 ladies and 1 guy from the movie. The mayhem demon/ghost figure is pretty good as well we really liked the translucent gargoyle wings and color scheme of this mini-figure.
The whole set has a lot of detail and if you have the existing Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set this will look really nice beside it.
Even though the collectors are likely to grab this set it also has a lot of creative play potential for younger Lego enthusiasts who enjoyed the film.
You can also seat four ghostbusters in this Ecto-1 which wasn’t possible in the previous Lego Version. Another added feature is that with this set you can open the doors as well.

Things We Did Not Like About It
This is a nice set and our issue isn’t really with the Lego set it is with the new movie which we think was nowhere near as good as the original. I suppose we are a bit old school and prefer the original movie and the original Ecto-1. If you are a fan of the new movie then you are going to love this Lego version of the vehicles and the characters from the movie.
Some of the decals can be a bit fiddly to add to the bricks so take it slowly and have some tweezers to hand.

Is It Worth The Money?
Many online reviews seem to be comparing this with the previous Lego Ecto-1 vehicle from the original movie and this one comes out on top for value as it has 2 vehicles and 1 more mini-figure. For a 500+ set we would say this is value for money.

Where Can I Buy It?
This set is available from the Lego store and from other online stores such as Amazon.

Final Thoughts
This is likely to appeal to fans of the new Ghostbuster movie but even if you are not enamored with the 2016 movie reboot it still is a set that has a lot going for it. It’s a fun build and makes a good display piece especially alongside the original Ecto-1. It will also appeal to Lego hobbyists who like to customize their own sets as there are plenty of interesting pieces and decals provided with this one.

LEGO Architecture New York City

This 598-piece set features five of New York’s most famous and iconic buildings; The Empire State Building, The Statue of Liberty, Chrysler Building, Flatiron Building and the One World Trade Center. This is one of three Skyline style architecture sets from Lego in 2016 the other two include a Berlin and Venice Skyline.

How Much?
This Lego Architecture set retails at around $60 online currently but the price does seem to be fluctuating.

Who Would Buy The Lego Architecture New York City?
Lego recommend this set for ages 12+ and this would match our thoughts. Unless the child has a special interest in New York,, another more child-friendly set would be more appropriate. We’d say this would make a great gift for a teenager who was interested in Architecture or wanted a more grown-up style building set. Adults will also enjoy making this and it makes a beautiful display item as well. It would make a nice family friendly project as well.

Things We Like About The Lego Architecture New York City Set
We like the new skyline concept that they have added to the architecture series and though this is a fairly small and easy build, the finished result really does capture the style of these buildings.
There is a nice enclosed booklet that gives you facts regarding the history and architecture of New York and these buildings. You also get a spare mini-figure just in case you lose the top of the Statue of Liberty!

Things We Didn’t Like About It.
It is not the most exciting of Lego models to build and some of it can be a bit tedious and repetitive especially the Empire State and Chrysler buildings.

You can already buy some of these buildings as individual Lego architecture sets that are larger and more detailed so if you already have any of them you might feel this set is just repeating buildings you already have and a waste of money. This set is for those who want a diorama of New York.

Lego Architecture New York city_250x250

Is It Worth The Money?
As you get 5 different buildings and a nice display stand we would say the price for this set is justified. This isn’t a given but some of these Lego Architecture sets have become collector’s items and have risen in price, so if you are feeling speculative then this set might make a good investment.

Where Can I Buy The Lego Architecture New York City Set
You can buy this set from the Lego store online and other large online stores such as Amazon. We have checked the reviews on Amazon and it seems very popular. You can read all the current user reviews here.

Final Thoughts
Some people might prefer the individual buildings but we think these new skyline Lego sets look good with plenty of detail. This would be a great gift for a teenager or adult interested in architecture and New York. There are likely to be other follow-up sets to this with other skylines so why not start a collection.

LEGO Dimensions

LEGO just keeps on producing toys that kids love and the LEGO Dimensions is one of the sets that you can bet will be on every kid’s wish list. The Dimensions set of these toys was created not long after the release of The LEGO Movie.
The movie was such a hit that toys were needed to allow kids to be more interactive in a virtual world as well as still have the feel of the original LEGO play. This one is part real play and part computer game.
The fun begins thanks to the portal or vortex that swept away some of the well known characters. These heroes were drawn into another dimension where they had to fight for what was right and defeat evil villains who wanted to run the show.
The set is an endless time of adventure and imagination as kids travel through the different worlds to assist the heroes in making sure that order is once again restored. With each of the different sets that are available, kids will be given different minifigures.
These minifigures are exclusive to one set but they can all be used in combination with other minifigures. And what one minifigure has another one can use in a different world. For example, if one minifigure hero has a vehicle that he uses, in the Dimensions world, another hero can also use that vehicle.
 dccomics
The Dimensions sets are the most interactive LEGO creation so far and there are limitless ways that a child can create different missions and adventures. Whatever his imagination likes is how he can link the different heroes on teams or as individuals.
There are several different sets that are suitable for Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii U and PlayStation 4. Each of these sets have different minifigures and different tools and vehicles.
If your child doesn’t have any of the LEGO Dimensions yet, you’ll want to start with the starter pack. This is the portal that allows the physical minifigures your child has to enter the game.
While this is a computer game, it’s much more than that. It’s also a great learning tool because kids will have to use their thinking skills to solve the way around obstacles to achieve the character’s goal.
LEGO offers a ton of different characters, so your child can start out with his or her favorite. You can get ones like DC ComicsBatman or Lord of the Rings characters. Each of these sets is compatible with the other, so you’ll be able to expand both the characters and the fun that your child can have.
Happy Gaming!
Suzanne

LEGO Dimensions Starter Pack

The creation of the LEGO Dimensions Starter Pack came about because there was a vortex in the LEGO worlds. This vortex caused some of the characters to disappear and in order to help the characters, Wyldstyle, Batman and Gandalf chose to be the heroes who jumped into action, traveling through space and braving time to save them.
When they did that, they found themselves on a mission to try and save LEGO worlds as you know them. The Lord Vortech is evil through and through and it’s going to take a host of heroes to defeat him.
Kids can use their imagination to lead them through the adventure to restore everything back to right in the LEGO world. They’ll have an array of minifigures they can use combined in one video game.
They’ll be able to fight against evil by swapping out with different hero’s tools and vehicles in ways that’s never been done before. There are no limits to the fun and the creativity that you can unleash in the game.
legodimensions2
You can team up the characters in never before partnerships as they battle to restore order. You’ll get everything that you need to start. You’ll get the much sought after video game along with the LEGO Toy Pad.
There are plenty of bricks in the box so that you can create the LEGO gateway. The three heroes who jumped into the vortex, Wyldstyle, Batman and Gandalf are included in the minifigures you’ll get, plus the LEGO Batmobile also comes with the set.
Once they set up the minifigures and begin the game, all kids have to do is pay attention to the instructions so that they can build the Gateway and situate the creation on the toy pad.
The adventure can get bigger and more complex the more minifigures that they add to their collection. You can buy expansion packs that contain additional minifigures, tools and vehicles and you can combine them any way that you like.
You’ll want to get these packs because the more heroes you have fighting against Lord Vortech, the more superhero power you’ll have to help stop him. With this set, you can set out on adventures, run the race against evil and time and collect studs and bricks to build the world.
You get 14 Adventure Worlds (such as the Jurassic World pack)  that you have the possibility of exploring once they’re unlocked, which gives you extended games to challenge your skill level. The worlds can open up to gamers with the use of the minifigures that go with that particular brand. So with this set, you get the DC Comics to unlock, the Lord of the Rings and The LEGO Movie. The characters can be switched into any of the worlds.
I hope you found this review helpful.
Suzanne

Fisher Price Thomas and Friends TrackMaster Shipwreck Rails Set

Thomas and Friends is world renowned for the many hours of fun the toys provide for countless children. With the Fisher Price Thomas and Friends TrackMaster Shipwreck Rails Set, that fun is taken to a new height.
Based on the Thomas and Friends movie featuring a lost treasure, this playset will be a welcome addition to any TrackMaster connectable set. With this set, kids can experience the thrill of the action in the movie as they also locate the remains of the shipwreck.
Given that the ship was once manned by pirates, there’s sure to be lots of goodies to find. Your child will be thrilled to be able to explore the ship’s remains and locate long lost treasures.
There’s fun at every turn. Kids can play along as Thomas chugs up the high track and crosses into a section of hanging track. With the flag ahead, there’s sure to be excitement that follows closely behind.
Thomas chugs his way below the flag and the ride takes off from there. The train flies at an incredible speed right at the main the part of the ship. As he’s zipping downward, the track twists and Thomas goes belly up.
But the track rights him again and he manages to get the treasure chest while he chugs his way through the ship. There’s a blue anchor on the side that rises and falls during play.
This set has a feature that will allow the rails to keep on letting Thomas chug forward so your child can enjoy hours of fun. All you have to do is set it on the reset play and Thomas will continue to zip around the track. thomastrain2What kids and parents both really like about this set is that it’s huge. There is so much track space to this one. The layout starts low and then goes up into the high loop that can flip Thomas upside down.
The spiral provides a lot of jaw dropping moments as Thomas manages to make it through time and time again. The exciting fun never ends with this set. Plus, kids enjoy discovering the treasure in the shipwreck.
This is a motorized track, so you’ll need plenty of AAA batteries to keep the track going. It’s suitable for kids who are at least 3 years old and older. Not only will kids of any age enjoy playing with the set, but they’ll learn, too.
The set teaches kids about cause and effect and provides other learning opportunities. Kids will learn about texture and colors and gain better eye and hand coordination. Younger kids will need some help setting up the track to get started and you can add to this track with other motorized railway sets. This set includes the track with the ship, Thomas the train along with a cargo car and the treasure.
Suzanne

LEGO 21103 The DeLorean Time Machine Building Set

LEGO 21103 The DeLorean Time Machine Building Set

  • Features opening doors, fold-up wheels, flux capacitor, time travel display, 2 license plates, Marty’s skateboard as well as extra engine and wheels
  • Customize the car to match the movie versions; step on the gas and prepare to travel Back to the Future
  • Open the gull-wing doors, just like the real car; fold up the wheels and engage hover mode
  • Jump on the skateboard and pull some tricks; build the model that LEGO CUUSOO members requested
  • Includes building instructions and exclusive Back to the Future information booklet; car measures over 2″ (6cm) high, 5″ (15cm) long and 3″ (8cm) wide

This is the year – 2015!

Suzanne

Toys R Us Fabulous 15 Toys List for Christmas 2015

Toys R Us Fabulous 15 Toys List for Christmas 2015
Below I’ve included the 15 toys Toys R Us calls the fabulous toys for Christmas 2015. If you click on the highlighted link, it will take you to my blog article on that toy where you will find much more information about it.
1. Doc McStuffins Take Care of Me Lambie is an interactive, educational toy that is suitable for children who are 3 years old and up. Not only is it adorable but since it has more than 50 interactive responses, your child will have hours of fun engaging with it.
2. Some interactive toys are pretty much like the next one, but not the Fisher-Price Bear Smart Toy. This toy is different in many ways. Rather than you having to switch toys as your child grows in learning and age, the toy itself will change as your child does.
3. A great toy for a child between the ages of 9 months and 3 years old is the Fisher-Price Bright Beats Dance & Move BeatBo. This toy is an animatronic friend that not only promotes physical activity, but is a learning tool as well.
4. There are plenty of fun toys for kids who love dolls and the Barbie Saddle ‘N Ride Horse is one of them. There are tons of adventures just waiting for Barbie and her beautiful horse to enjoy.
5. Little Live Pets Clever Keet is just like a real parakeet but without the mess a bird makes or the responsibility it takes to care for one. This toy is an interactive toy that will delight your child.
6. Shopkins Fashion Boutique Playset – Kids will have loads of fun on their shopping spree when they’re playing with the Shopkins Fashion Boutique Playset. These playsets use characters that are made just for the playsets.
7. Journey Girls 2015 Italy Holiday Doll – For those who like to collect dolls or use them in holiday displays, getting the Journey Girls 2015 Italy Holiday Doll is a must have purchase. This doll is part of an exclusive collection of other dolls in the series.
8. Paw Patrol Paw Patroller – The adventures of the Paw Patrol series are led by Ryker, the boy who helps the brave rescue dogs on their many different missions. This toy is a rescue vehicle that can be used to carry three of the different Paw Patrol vehicles at once and the side of it can be closed when not in use.
9.  Fisher Price Imaginext Ultra T Rex – This toy is unique in that it allows kids to direct the adventure with the use of the Power Pads. By using these Pads, kids can control the T-Rex and they’ll easily be entertained with all of the lights, sounds and actions.
10. Star Wars BladeBuilders Jedi Master Lightsaber – As legions of Star Wars fans know, the Lightsabers are more than mere toys. They’re adventures that can be held in the hand. With each new Star Wars related toy item, creating the iconic world with the epic battle between good and evil becomes even more realistic.
11. LEGO Dimensions Starter Pack – Kids can use their imagination to lead them through the adventure to restore everything back to right in the LEGO world. They’ll have an array of minifigures they can use combined in one video game.
12.  Star Wars R2-D2 Interactive Robotic Droid – This has to be the ultimate personal buy or gift for any Star Wars fan. This little droid is a replica of R2-D2 and is loaded with the ability to interact with humans.
13. NERF N Strike Modulus ECS-10 Blaster – With this blaster, users can now create their own blaster the way that they want it and one that’s suitable for the gameplay that they engage in.  This blaster gives users the ability to make over 30 different combinations so playing to win has never been easier.
14. Meccano MeccaNoid Personal Robot – This robot is affordable and comes with a lot of great features that make this one of the most in demand robots on the market. The robot has the ability to recognize voice commands.
15. Guitar Hero Live – Inside many people, there’s a rock star just waiting to be set free. Now you can do that with Guitar Hero Live. This is the game like you’ve never seen it before with cutting edge brand new modes and a guitar controller that’s made to be played.
I hope this blog post was helpful for you. Please feel free to comment below or share, email or tweet this blog post to your friends who are searching for great toys for their kids!
Suzanne

VEX Robotics Ball Machines – one of Forbe’s Top 10 Toys for 2015!

Any toys that can be used to teach kids about power in motion are good educational and fun toys. Kids can learn and discover as they play. They’ll learn about linkages and motion as well as cause and effect.
Toys like the VEX Robotics Ball Machines are reasonably priced toys that inspire kids to learn as they play and the manufacturer has a long list of these interesting robotics ball machines.
These are modular in construction and are very budget friendly. The sets can be used configured together to make even bigger machines. The VEX Robotics Hexcalator Ball Machine is one of the robotics that has a hand crank that kids can use to create the motion that drives the wheels to move the balls uphill to the ramp and down again.
This is all hand powered, so no batteries are needed – and the set comes with eight of the balls. Kids can build a forklift using the pieces from the Forklift Ball Machine set.
By putting together the linkage, kids will create a machine that has the ability to scoop and lift the balls. Like the other machines, this one has a hand crank that allows it to scoop and lift the balls quickly.
The VEX Robotics Handoff Ball Machine has more than 220 pieces that kids can use to build it. They’ll be linking gears and cranks that can make a machine that has the ability to move balls to holding bins.
By building this machine, kids learn engineering facts like rotational and linear movement. By using the 170 piece plus set, kids can build a VEX Robotics Screw Lift Ball Machine.
The machine can lift small items and the design of this one is based on the science of the Archimedes Screw. This works by having kids use a screw that rotates so that it can lift balls.
If you have a child that’s big on sports, he’ll love the VEX Robotics Hook Shot Ball Machine. This set combines more than 180 pieces to create a machine that uses a hand crank to toss balls through a loop.
The VEX Robotics Pick & Drop Ball Machine has an impressive piece count of over 400 pieces. Using kinetic motion, kids can use the crank to move energy that makes the hands of the machine work.
When they use the crank, the hands will pick up a ball and if kids continue to run the crank, it’ll lift the ball up and drop it on the ramp. While each of these 6 sets use linkage, gears and hand cranking, kids can still add power motors if they want to take the building experience a step further.
Do you know a child who would love one of these toys?
Suzanne